Activity Outline: Jump to Activity #2

Students will use the Emigrant Trails Website and follow the emigrants route as part of a wagon train. They will begin at Fort Laramie and conclude at the Parting of the Ways. They will make up a journal entry for each place the route takes them including gravesites. In their journal entry they will talk about some of the information they read from that particular page, they will talk about the scenery, their wagon train’s overall well being, and animals they may encounter. Their last entry will be at the Parting of the Ways. In this entry they will explain what route they will choose to continue their journey and why.

Conclude this activity by visiting the Oregon Trail Sites close to your community.


Standards #7 Social Studies Grade 4 Benchmark
Standards #1 Language Arts Grade 4 Benchmark #3
Benchmark #4
Benchmark #6
Standard #4 Social Studies Grade 4 Benchmark #3


Activity Outline:

1. Students will create a diary, which includes a map, of their travel through Wyoming on the Oregon Trail .

2. Students will figure mileage and traveling time between their stops and diary entries.

3. Students will draw their favorite sites that they see traveling through Wyoming and give a short description of the site in their diary.

4. Students will list Forts that they stopped at along the way. They will describe purchases they may have had, repairs they might have made, etc.


  1. Using the “sites” bookmark, students will view the map in zoom mode starting on the eastern side of Wyoming at the trail's entry to the state.
  2. On a copy of a map (showing the counties) students will
    1. Plot/label the rivers and possible landforms that they will have to travel through.
    2. Plot/label the sites that they plan on visiting/stopping at during their travel.
    3. Use the map's resources to figure distance between those stops.
    4. Figure possible travel time from stop to stop.


  1. Students will create a diary.

The first date will be a summary of when they started, where, how, etc.

The following days will be their travels through Wyoming .

In the diary students will include:

    1. feelings about their travel.
    2. Descriptions of what they are seeing. IE landforms, river, types of grass, animals, Indians, previous travelers belongings, etc. Pictures of sites will be hand drawn.
    3. Descriptions of “sites” along their path.
    4. Their stops and camp preparations. At Forts, they need to include what they did at the fort and what they saw.
    5. Crossings of rivers and possible cutoffs used.
    6. Tragedies and surprises along the trail.

In the last entry, students will write about how the traveling the trail to new land will improve their life.